Stories for March 2007
Friday, March 30
Independent home entertainment distributor Image Entertainment has been acquired by an investment firm headed by film financier and producer David Bergstein for $132 million.
Van Nuys will be the setting for a new online game developed by MTV Networks.
Officials are lobbying for federal funding to construct a highway that would link the Antelope and Victor valleys and turn the High Desert areas into an inland port.
The Mid Valley Chamber of Commerce has changed its name to the Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Thursday, March 29
A plan to construct a new patient care tower at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills has been shelved for two months as the city Planning Commission mills over whether the $143 million project needs an environmental impact report.
The Moorpark Planning Commission has approved a four-story Fairfield Inn & Suites.
The state's Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program has expanded to include Ventura County.
The nonprofit Meet Each Need With Dignity won't be able to move into its new $8.5 million headquarters in Pacoima because it was not issued the correct permits in time for the grand opening this weekend.
Youbet.com Inc. will carry racing content from Philadelphia Park Casino and Racetrack starting Saturday, the company announced.
Semtech Corp. is now current with required federal financial reports following the filing of an amended annual report and three quarterly reports, the company announced Thursday.
U.S. Rep Adam Schiff has reintroduced a measure to look at expanding the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to include the mountains that encircle the San Fernando, Simi, Conejo and La Crescenta valleys.
Los Angeles and Ventura counties are two of 10 California counties that will receive a total of $540 million in federal dollars to test ways of providing health services to the underinsured, the governor's office announced Thursday.
Wednesday, March 28
U.S. prosecutors will not file charges against the Camarillo payment processor Electronic Clearing House as part of an investigation into online gambling.
Mobile content provider GoTV Networks received funding from Motorola Ventures and QUALCOMM Inc., the company announced.
Walt Disney Co. is planning to build an indoor arena at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
The United Chambers of Commerce of the San Fernando Valley has sent letters to elected city officials condemning City Council President Eric Garcetti's support of a boycott of the Hilton Hotel near Los Angeles International Airport.
The Burbank City Council has voted to ban smoking in virtually all public places in the city.
Tuesday, March 27
Los Angeles County remains the nation's top manufacturing center despite a loss of more than 9,000 jobs last year, according to a report by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. released Tuesday.
A survey of homeowners has found that 34 percent had no idea what type of mortgage they had.
A deal by business software maker Intuit Inc. to acquire Camarillo-based Electronic Clearing House Inc. has been terminated, the company announced Tuesday.
Internet video search company ClipBlast! launched on Tuesday its new platform making it easier for viewers to find videos online.
The Simi Valley City Council approved a revised proposal for a 94-bed assisted living facility at Tierra Rejada Road and Village Parkway.
Construction is finishing five months early on a vital portion of road that connects two sections of Santa Clarita.
Nestle and Coca-Cola Co. have reached an agreement to modify a beverage joint venture the two companies had established previously.
Monday, March 26
The state Department of Housing and Community Development department has approved the final boundaries for the new Santa Clarita enterprise zone.
More than 11,000 Southern California Albertsons workers have authorized a strike if negotiations with the grocery company fail.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Monday introduced a new program to reduce traffic congestion and repair streets in heavily traveled areas of the city.
The Woodland Hills insurance company Unico American Corp. increased both fourth quarter and fiscal yet net income, although its revenue showed decreases in both periods, the company said Monday.
Friday, March 23
Higgins Development Partners LLC is set to develop an office tower in Burbank's Media District.
HemaCare Corp. reported record revenues of $10.7 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, an increase of 21 percent from a year ago.
The Ventura County Star offered buyouts to nearly two dozen employees, many in the editorial department.
The Thousand Oaks drug maker Amgen Inc. finished Friday down more than 4 percent and hit a year-low after a week of rough news.
The city of Moorpark has slapped a $25,000 fine against Time Warner Cable over what it says is poor service provided to customers.
State regulators have fined Thousand Oaks-based Blue Cross of California $1 million after an investigation found the insurer regularly dropped policies on sick or pregnant clients.
The Regional Planning Commission has approved a plan to construct 247 homes in Agua Dulce just north of Santa Clarita.
Earl Scheib Inc. reported a net loss of $1.4 million or $0.32 per diluted share for the fiscal third quarter ended Jan. 31, 2007 on revenues of $9.4 million.
Thursday, March 22
Countrywide notes that foreclosures could hit record levels, but cautions feds on over-regulating.
Simi Valley electronics company Topaz Systems Inc. has been granted a patent for an electronic signature authentication system.
Lululemon Athletica Inc. will open its first San Fernando Valley store at The Commons in Calabasas on April 6.
Video-on-demand service Movielink will offer expanded music offerings after making deals with two San Fernando Valley companies.
Transition occurs as North American Scientific prepares new breast cancer treatment.
A congressman has asked Thousand Oaks drug maker Amgen Inc. to stop advertising its popular anemia drugs until a federal investigation into its safety is completed.
The joint venture partners will distribute films, TV and other content through MySpace.
Wednesday, March 21
The Woodland Hills biosensor company SPO Medical Inc. reported its gross revenues increased 103 percent during 2006.
California State University faculty has authorized a strike if they and administrators can't agree on a pay increase before next month.
EdenTree Technologies has inked a reseller agreement under which it will be able to integrate its Lab Manager software with switching products made by Calient Networks.
L.A. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich has introduced a plan to construct an "inland port" in the Antelope Valley.
Valley City Councilman Greig Smith has introduced a motion to have the city's Deferred Compensation Plan include a portfolio of mutual funds invested in environmentally conscious companies.
Tuesday, March 20
Van Nuys-based manufacturer Superior Industries International Inc. reported a net loss of nearly $5 million for the fourth quarter on revenues of $212 million.
Claire's Stores Inc., operators of some 3,000 fashion accessory stores internationally and a fixture in just about every San Fernando Valley shopping mall, has agreed to be acquired by Apollo Management L.P. for $3.1 billion or $33 per share.
Youbet.com, Inc. signed a co-promotion agreement with a racetrack in Louisiana, the company announced Tuesday.
Transit usage in Thousand Oaks increased 13 percent in 2006 from a year ago, the city announced.
Monday, March 19
With its transition under the ownership of GE Real Estate complete, Arden Realty Inc. is getting busy
American Reprographics has acquired MBC Precision Imaging, a document copying company in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.
Staff Reporter Chris Coates details how the Hallmark Channel plans to attract younger viewers and hopefully ad dollars.
The Valley legal climate, once based mainly in personal injury law, has come a long way in recent years
As businesses and social issues evolve, so do the law specialties that serve them
The owners of Auto Gallery are expanding their Woodland Hills showroom
The emergence of high-definition technology is creating some unforeseen issues
Editor Jason Schaff details how the Business Journal selected its picks for the top 25 lawyers in the Valley area.
Despite new products, new commercial sales and government contracts, QPC Lasers Inc. posted a $18.7 million net loss for the 2006 fiscal year.
It would have been easier and cheaper to close up and move elsewhere. So why did the owner of a small Chatsworth manufacturing shop decide to stay put?
Bob Rogers' BRC Imagination Arts Brings History To Life For A Diverse Group of Corporate And Institutional Clients
Martin Cooper on the role sucessful businesses should have on those less fortunate.
Ticket broker Tix Corp. has bought out AnyEvent.com, another ticket selling firm with two national offices.
A sports marketing and consulting firm appointed an industry veteran who helped popularize pro beach volleyball and snowboarding tours to head its new San Fernando Valley office.
With escalating construction costs and growing rents, an increasing number of physicians in the Valley area are opting out of renting space in traditional medical office buildings.
Media conglomerates plan for greater share of Internet
Don Krebs turned a devastating water skiing accident into a business that's helping physically-limited people stay fit
Santa Clarita is staking a claim in a new cottage industry it hopes will bring more attention and dollars to the area: sports tourism
With law schools churning out thousands of female graduates, why do so many law firms have so few women partners?
The operator of a high-end Orange County car dealership has paid $2.5 million for a Calabasas plot and plans to expand north.
Staff Reporter Mark R. Madler on the upcoming WESTEC manufacturing trade show
The Valley legal community reacts to news that two of its own have been charged with visa fraud
The Chatsworth medical device maker North American Scientific Inc. reported its first quarter fiscal year net loss widened compared to last year.
Behind the scenes of how Homestore.com rebuilt itself from the brink of financial disaster
The parent company of Hollywood Video is moving into the lucrative video-on-demand market with the purchase of a Disney-funded company
Fremont General Corp.'s decision to exit the sub-prime mortgage market came despite an apparent willingness by regulators to work with the company's industrial bank to upgrade its lending practices, regulatory sources said Wednesday.
Saturday, March 17
The San Fernando Valley Business Journal honored The Top 25 Lawyers of the Valley area with a March 7 awards ceremony at Beverly Garland's Holiday Inn in North Hollywood.
Friday, March 16
Six Flags Inc. reported a fourth quarter loss of $189.7 million, or $2.07 a diluted share, after writing down the value of several parks it had planned to put up for sale.
Santa Clarita hoteliers charged 9.3 percent more for a room in January than they did just a year prior, according a study of hotel trends by tracking firm PKF Consulting.
Social media company fix8 was recognized with the Best in Show award at the iHollywood Forum's Digital Media Summit, the company announced Friday.
Newhall Coffee Roasting Co. is donating more than 12,000 pounds of its "Patriot Blend" coffee to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Bally Total Fitness said in a financial filing that it is exploring filing Chap. 11 as a result of lower membership revenues and increased operating expenses.
Thursday, March 15
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced Thursday it plans to launch a study of "off-label" uses of anemia drugs, including those developed by Thousand Oak-based Amgen Inc.
Woodland Hills-based fiber optics components manufacturer Optical Communications Products Inc. reported a net loss for the first quarter of its 2007 fiscal year.
Officials will break ground Friday on the $36 million University Center at College of the Canyons in Valencia.
Newbury Park-based startup Airprotek International Inc. has inked a deal to distribute power-sports safety products manufactured by Zicen Corp.
The Tseng College of Extended Learning at California State University Northridge is developing six new master's degree programs.
Home sales across Southern California fell to their lowest levels for the month of February since 1997, while prices continued to rise, according to a report just released by DataQuick yesterday.
Wednesday, March 14
Technicolor Digital Cinema has added theater chains in the Midwest and New England regions to test its digital theater systems, the company has announced.
Guests of Magic Mountain starting this weekend will have a chance to hop to the front of the line for the right price.
FCB Bancorp and National Mercantile Bancorp have completed their merger creating First California Financial Group Inc.
Cherokee Inc. has signed with P & L; Global Network in Latin America to license its Sideout Brand.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Wednesday named a lifelong Valley resident to a newly created position as his top official in the San Fernando Valley.
A West Hills immigration consultant was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for spearheading an immigration fraud scheme that allowed as many as 99 illegal immigrants enter the country.
Tuesday, March 13
Beverly Hills Bancorp Inc., parent of First Bank of Beverly Hills in Calabasas, said that its net income dipped slightly to $14.8 million or $0.72 per share for the year ended Dec. 31, compared to $15.1 million or $0.70 per diluted share in the prior year
DAUM Commercial Real Estate Services has severed its relationship with GVA Worldwide, noting that the affiliation no longer meets its strategic objectives.
Health plans offered by professional groups are becoming increasingly rare, creating headaches for self-employed professionals who need coverage.
The ratings compiler Nielsen is trying to gauge a new group of viewers: those watching TV out of the living room.
Burbank-based Lieberman Broadcasting Inc. has withdrawn its $150 million initial public offering.
Youbet.com Inc. on Tuesday reported both an increase in revenue but a net loss for the fourth quarter of 2006 and the full year.
Services were held today for Nathan Shapell, a homebuilder who helped develop Porter Ranch.
TVN Entertainment Corp. landed a deal with a major cable company to provide a channel promoting the company's on-demand programming.
Woodland Hills-based United Online Inc. is expanding its broadband Internet service into major metropolitan areas serviced by Covad Communications Group Inc.
DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. said today it intends to produce all of its films in 3D starting in 2009.
Monday, March 12
Television and motion picture production days in Santa Clarita increased 94 percent in February from a year before, the city's Film Office reported.
Antelope Valley Hospital has surpassed the national average time limit for treating victims of an especially dangerous type of heart attack a month after the county designated it a special receiving center.
The city of Thousand Oaks is looking for business owners to serve on a business roundtable.
Salem Communications Corp. reported a minimal drop in fourth quarter net income and a 50 percent increase in income for the full 2006 fiscal year.
Delinquent home payments on home loans by Calabasas-based Countrywide Financial Corp. held steady during February, the company reported Monday.
Technicolor Digital Cinema selected projectors from Christie USA for its roll out in North America of digital cinema systems, the company announced Monday.
Friday, March 9
American Reprographics, the Glendale-based printing company, has priced a secondary offering of common shares at $32.25 per share.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved new warnings to be printed on a type of drugs that includes Aranesp and Epogen, two popular anemia products developed by the Thousand Oaks drug maker Amgen Inc.
A subsidiary of Thousand Oaks-based Teledyne Technologies Inc. has bought a New England electrical and fiber optic system manufacturer.
Semtech Corp. reported an increase in sales revenue for its 2007 fiscal year, according to selected figures released Friday.
Dole Food Company Inc. unveiled a new website providing information on its environmental, educational, medical and socioeconomic programs.
Shareholders of The Walt Disney Co. re-elected the 11 members of the media and entertainment conglomerate's board of directors during its annual meeting taking place in New Orleans.
Gold Coast Business Forum said Friday that it has formed a partnership with Pepperdine's Graziadio School of Business and Management.
Thursday, March 8
The owner of Hollywood Video stores has acquired a Burbank-based movie-on-demand service for just less than $10 million, it was announced Thursday.
Same-store sales growth slowed up in February, registering a 2.6 percent gain versus the prior month and year for about 60 retailers, according to data just released from Retail Forward.
Despite reporting an increase in subscribers for its Hallmark Channel, Crown Media Holdings, Inc. had a net loss for both the fourth quarter and full fiscal year 2006, the company announced Thursday.
Wednesday, March 7
Digital Insight signed a 7-year deal to provide online banking services to TotalBank, the company announced Wednesday.
Valley City Councilman Greig Smith has proposed a city ordinance to allow the city Environmental Affairs Department to issue orders to stop polluters that threaten public health.
An online patient survey of California medical centers released Wednesday found that just three out of nine participating Valley-area hospitals were ranked as "superior."
The Cheesecake Factory Inc. said it would increase its stock repurchase program by 10 million shares.
Tuesday, March 6
The director of Glendale Water and Power plans to step down from the post this spring, the city announced Tuesday.
Wi-Fi networks made by Xirrus Inc. have been chosen for use in medical and corporate conferences produced by Advance Concepts, the company announced Tuesday.
The United Food and Commercial Workers has extended the contract deadline covering workers at Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons for two weeks as the union and the corporations continue discussions.
Precision Dynamics Corp. will release a new line of identification bands for the leisure and entertainment market, the company announced Tuesday.
Construction is moving forward on a multiphase project to expand the Simi Valley Hospital emergency department.
Speaking at an investor conference, Countrywide Financial Corp. officials today told investors that the company was well-fortified against the problems in the mortgage market.
Warner Bros. Entertainment has joined Universal Pictures and a partnership of three movie theater chains to develop a digital cinema delivery system, the company announced Tuesday.
Monday, March 5
An Encino spa is building on growing demand by men and women for non-invasive cosmetic procedures under a physician's supervision.
California car dealers saw a slightly more pronounced decrease in sales than the rest of the country last year, reflecting a general slowdown in the car-buying business, according to a study released Monday by the California Motor Dealers Association.
Behind the scenes of how staffers at Sun Quest Executive Air Charter in Van Nuys are handling the loss of their owner and boss who died in a plane crash earlier this year.
A group of Woodland Hills businessmen is organizing a savings and loan expected to be located in North Hollywood to serve the Hispanic market.
Wells Fargo is moving to grab a larger share of the commercial banking market as Santa Clarita continues to expand its population of businesses.
Editor Jason Schaff on where business people should turn to help increase their businesses.
The local economy will largely hold steady this year and in 2008, although several key businesses mainly television and motion pictures are at risk of slowing
If you own a business in the east Valley, you could benefit from a new state enterprise zone.
Charles J. McFadden has been named director for the Valley Coast complex at Merrill Lynch.
At least 93 people will be fired in coming months from the Woodland Hills insurer 21st Century Insurance Group.
Columnist Gregory N. Lippe on gerrymandering and its role on California politics.
For chambers of commerce, spring is the peak travel season, when business groups large and small head to Sacramento and Washington, D.C., to lobby elected officials.
A new county protocol changes where those suffering an especially dangerous type of heart attack in Santa Clarita will be taken.
Morre L. Dean has had a personal interest in hospitals most of his life, now he has focused his attention onGlendale Adventist as its President and CEO.
The Valley-area's 2007 chambers of commerce have spent the first quarter of the year prepping for a daunting variety of installation ceremonies.
The Ernie Schaeffer Center on Innovation and Entrepreneurship at California State University, Northridge has opened its doors.
LuminentOIC Inc. reached an agreement to use integrated circuits made by TriAccess Technologies for its next-generation optical networks, the company announced.
Macy's Gives Funds to Boys & Girls Club of West Valley
A look at the possible repercussions of Bank of America offering credit cards to immigrants.
Veteran real estate broker J. Richard Leyner is taking a stab at politics.
The Internet has turned car buying into a high-tech experience for dealers and consumers alike.
Santa Clarita sales tax figures increased 5.6 percent during the third quarter of 2006, bringing in $7.3 million for the city from July to September, according to a study of the most recent figures available by the city.
Cherokee Inc. has extended its contract with Target Corp. through January, 2009.
Telesis Community Credit Union has bought AutoSeekers, which it previously owned with California Bear Credit Union.
Reporter Mark R. Madler details the latest in publishing news in the Valley area.
Children's Museum of Los Angeles has appointed Cecilia Aguilera Glassman as its CEO.
Felix Lopez, a successful entrepreneur who created a string of bakeries and cafes, has opened his first full-service restaurant in Glendale.
Countrywide Financial Corp. was caught in the downwind today as mortgage lender stocks slid.
These days, it seems film festivals are popping up every few months in the Valley region. But are people attending? And are they really helping the area?
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced Monday that he plans to release $82 million from a city trust fund to help pay for 21 housing projects for low-income families and seniors.
The Air Group has expanded its fleet of planes at Van Nuys Regional Airport.
A former account vice president for a Valencia brokerage firm has pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit securities fraud.
Behind the scenes of the Visual Effects Society's annual award ceremony.
Friday, March 2
The Woodland Hills property and casualty insurance provider Unico American Corp. reported decreased loss-related expenses sent its underwriting income for a subsidiary increasing for the fourth quarter ending Dec. 31.
The number of delinquent mortgages increased in 2006 for Countrywide Financial Corp.
Expect significant traffic delays in the eastern portion of the San Fernando Valley on Sunday as the 22nd Los Angeles Marathon kicks off near Universal Studios Hollywood.
Home affordability in Los Angeles County fell to 19 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006, according to statistics just released by the California Association of Realtors.
Thursday, March 1
Amgen Inc. executives on Thursday reassured investors that its anemia drug Aranesp is safe and effective when used correctly.
A Los Angeles Superior Court Judge has temporarily halted a city measure to extend the living ordinance to hotel workers near Los Angeles International Airport.
FCB Bancorp, the holding company for First California Bank, said today that net income for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 was $1.45 million or $0.44 per diluted share, compared to $1.26 million or $0.38 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2005.
A grand jury has indicted two Valley attorneys on charges they filed false employment visa applications.